NYS COURTS SHOW CONTEMPT FOR OVERTIME IN VIOLATION OF CONTRACT AND FEDERAL FAIR LABOR STANDARDS – UNION REPRESENTING COURT CLERKS FILE SUIT IN FEDERAL COURT
NEW YORK, OCTOBER 30, 2013, The New York State Court Clerks Association today filed a lawsuit against the New York State Unified Court System for encouraging and allowing court clerks to perform work after-hours without compensation in clear violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The suit has been filed in United States District Court Southern District of New York.
In the wake of severe budget cuts and staff reductions of as much as 15%, Court Clerks along with the other Court employees have been asked to do more with less. Now faced with an ever increasing workload, and OCA’s ignoring our constant request for additional staffing, our members ability to keep pace with the workload has long since reached and surpassed critical mass.
“During a meeting with OCA to discuss the problem OCA acknowledged it would be improper to work off the clock. Yet, OCA refused to do anything to help us stop it. In fact, they sent us a letter to “assure” us that it was not occurring.
“Rather than address the problem the OCA response was to look the other way; even as dedicated, but zealous clerks ‘volunteered’ to work extra hours and on scheduled off-days all without pay – and in violation of Fair Labor Standards Act,” said NYSCCA president Joseph Walsh.
“What is more outrageous is that OCA was not only aware of the illegal activity court managers were complicit in altering records to cover-up the illegal activity.”
“Court administrators dealt with their budgetary problems by simply choosing to ignore the law. The shame is that the Judges who run the Court system, whom we entrust to protect the law, have flagrantly violated the law.
“We believe that no one is above the law and our lawsuit is an effort to hold them accountable,” said Walsh.